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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload

            More than a book of “how-to” be more organized in everyday life or at work, this is a guide to coping with today’s onslaught of information based on the latest research in neuroscience. It is written by Daniel J. Levitin, a professor of cognitive psychology at McGill University and the author of two New York Times bestsellers: This is Your Brain on Music and The World in Six Songs.
            Although humans have more neural capacity than the apes and other animals, we still are shortchanged, even with the development of writing as a successor to memory alone. Levitin demonstrates ways to organize our homes, our social worlds, and our time, relying on man-made aids such as note-taking, filing systems and computers as a supplement to memory. He instructs the reader on how to construct a fourfold table to help organize information and calculate the odds when dealing with life-changing decisions. He advises how to structure the business world with clearly defined roles for workers and planning for failure. He recommends that our children be educated in the ways of information literacy and creative thinking using approximation as a tool, and encouraged to be more understanding of others and of other points of view.

            Over ninety pages of endnotes provide a path to Levitin’s research and for further reading.


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